‘Defund police’ spray-painted on Providence cruiser


The words “defund police” are partially cleaned off a Providence Police cruiser after being vandalized.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence Police cruiser was vandalized with the words “defund police” outside an East Side substation Sunday.

The cruiser was seen with the paint already partially scrubbed clean at a city repair shop on Dexter Street Monday morning. The anti-police slogan “ACAB” was also spray-painted on the back of the cruiser, along with “FTP,” which typically stands for “[expletive] the police.”

Police spokesperson Lindsay Lague said the vandalism was discovered around 11 p.m. Sunday night by a patrol officer doing a vehicle inspection before her shift. The cruiser was parked outside the District 8 substation on Brook and Power Streets.

No arrests have been made, Lague said.

The vandalism comes after a rally to defund the police was held in Providence Sunday, though it’s not clear if anyone involved in the rally was responsible for the spray painting. A smaller group of people protested outside Gov. Gina Raimondo’s home Sunday night, about a mile away from the substation.

Providence police cruisers have been vandalized multiple times in recent weeks amid protests against police brutality. A cruiser was torched at a riot outside the Providence Place Mall in early June, and other police vehicles were damaged by rocks and bricks (including one thrown through the back window of Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré’s car while he was driving it.)

The Providence City Council is strongly considering reallocating some resources from the Providence Police in the upcoming budget, amid calls to decrease funding to the police department.

Top leaders are interested in potentially diverting certain 911 calls — such as mental health crises or panhandling complaints — to other social service workers considered better suited to respond.

A budget for the fiscal year that started July 1 has not yet been approved, as the city awaits final figures on state and federal aid because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Steph Machado (smachado@wpri.com) covers Providence, politics and more for WPRI 12. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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